Article: We had 3 writers play Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree: Here are 9 things one of us found but the others didn’t

The PC Gamer team haven’t just played Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree—we’ve played it on three continents, sitting down with the expansion to our 2022 Game of the Year in Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo. We’ve tried out its new weapon types, explored as much of the new map as we possibly could, and even spoken with FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki for the cover story of our next magazine. With all that hands-on time with the game, we had more to share than we could fit into those stories, so we’ve collected a range of anecdotes and observations below. Here’s a bit more insight into the new Land of Shadow and what you can expect to encounter there.

**Scadutree upgrades will require two fragments for a good while**
Wes Fenlon: Shadow of the Erdtree’s independent leveling system has you collecting “Scadutree Blessings” to raise your power level just within the Land of Shadow. Your first upgrade costs only a single fragment, which you’ll likely find quite quickly—the upgrades are scattered throughout the new map much like the Golden Seeds you use to upgrade your flask. After that first upgrade that required one fragment, every power up I managed during my playtime, up to level four or five, required two Scadutree Blessings. As with Golden Seeds there’s a finite number of these in the world. My bet is the system will top out at three, maybe four fragments required for max level within the expansion.

**Beware of sleeping dragons**
Shaun Prescott: Remember in Dark Souls, calmly perambulating in the scenic Valley of Drakes, reaching what appeared to be the remains of a dragon corpse hanging off the edge of a cliff, only for that corpse to reanimate and Hollow you? There’s a kinda similar moment in Shadow of the Erdtree. Without giving too much away, it’s probably wise to approach unusual looking rock formations with trepidation.

**Spiritspring air gusts now involve some light puzzle solving**
Wes Fenlon: The Land of Shadow is full of steep cliffs that make it a trickier area to navigate than we’ve encountered in Elden Ring before. That means spiritsprings—those vertical air currents that help you leap up and down cliffsides—are quite precious in the Land of Shadow, and you won’t find too many of them in the first area you explore. As you progress further you’ll start running into spiritsprings in key spots, but with a new twist: they’re magically “locked” with a spell attached to a small pile of enchanted stones somewhere nearby. To make use of the spiritspring you’ll first have to explore the surrounding area to find the little stone pile and break it, unsealing the spiritspring so you and Torrent can leap on up to new heights.

**I found a lava-filled dungeon with a unique weapon at its end**
Shaun: One of my favourite things about Elden Ring is stumbling upon dungeons that prove bigger or more unique than most others. There are definitely a few very shallow mini-boss dungeons in Shadow of the Erdtree, but I also found what I guess I’d call a medium-sized dungeon. The Ruined Forge Lava Intake dungeon was a fun distraction with some light puzzle solving, ample troll murder, and best of all, a unique reward at the end.

**I think a monkey performed a magical waterfowl dance on me**
Tyler Colp: I thought Demi-Human Swordsman Onze was just a regular monkey man who studied the blade until he pulled out an entire magical version of Malenia’s signature—and most infuriating—move. I had just made it to the bottom of a massive cave system filled with prisoners and discarded pots; I was not expecting to get julienned by a minor boss using a Waterfowl Dance on me. Onze and his apparent knowledge of a legendary technique is all I’ve been thinking about since playing Shadow of the Erdtree at the preview event. I need to know this (monkey) man’s whole deal.

**Get ready to jump (or die) in one of Shadow of the Erdtree’s first boss fights**
Wes Fenlon: I did plenty of jumping in Elden Ring, but I don’t remember getting my feet off the ground ever being an absolute case of life or death. That’s absolutely how it goes in one of Shadow of the Erdtree’s first major boss fights, however, reminding me of the Sekiro fight that demands you catch a bolt of lightning on your katana and throw it back at your attacker before touching the ground. Surviving the ultimate attack from fearsome Erdtree boss Rellana is a bit less Sekiro and a bit more Mario, though, asking you to time three jumps to clear a trio of shockwaves that are all but guaranteed to kill you if they catch you at the knees.

**Coffin riding is back, baby**
Shaun: Following some descending rapids for a while, with a mixture of Torrent-back platforming and wily crab evasion, I came to the river’s outlet where a ghost sat hunched at the shore. This ghost alluded to the existence of a coffin that could “convey its passenger upon a gentle cruise to the velvet garden of deepest purple.” There are similar coffins in the base game, so I’m speculating: expect this dubious mode of transportation to return somewhere in the Land of Shadow.

**You can have a pet fingercreeper (hand spider)**
Tyler Colp: I’m not sure what I expected when I summoned the worst enemy in Elden Ring as my pet but it certainly wasn’t that it would heal me. FromSoft really made the scariest and deadliest creature in the Lands Between a spirit ash summon that stands behind you and heals at a rate that feels… weak. Maybe it’ll have its uses in certain situations, but I like the idea that FromSoft thought it would be funny to let us finally harness the power of the hand spiders but made them completely inept.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree offers players a new and challenging experience with unique gameplay elements and surprises around every corner. From dragons to dungeon exploration, the expansion has something for every type of player. With intriguing puzzles and boss fights, players are sure to be kept on their toes as they navigate the Land of Shadow. Prepare for a thrilling adventure unlike any other in the Elden Ring universe.